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Working with Social Media Influencers

Working with Influencers

If you own a relatively well known business more than likely over the past 24-36 months you’ve been approached by a “Social Media Influencer” promising to grow your social media following for a free meal, hotel room or products.

How do you know this person can legitimately provide the services they’re promising? Do you need to pay them? Do you need an agreement in place to work with them? We’ll lay out a few key points that can help make it easier to try and work with real influencers to help grow your business.

  1. Ask Questions
    • Treat them just like you would anyone trying to sell you anything. A healthy degree of skepticism is ok in this situation. Especially if they are asking for free products, services, or money.
    • Ask what the demographics of their following.
      • Do they line up with your ideal customer or customers you’re looking to attract?
    • Ask about any past work they have done with other businesses.
      • Can they give specific examples of growing followers, or increasing sales
  2. Set Expectations
    • Set very clear guidelines of what you would like this person to achieve.
      • An example of this could be we would like to see a 5% increase in social media followers.
      • Another example could be giving them a discount code or coupon to try and track sales that originated from this person or persons.
    • Explain exactly what support or services you will provide them with.
  3. Put Together an Agreement
    • This part is crucial if there is a transfer or money.
      • It doesn’t have to be written by a lawyer, but having something in writing can be very handy if this person fails to live up to expectations.
      • The basic outline should be (insert influencer or their company name) will provide (insert expectations) for (insert goods, services, or $ amount) by (insert DATE)
  4. Measure Results
    • This last step can often get overlooked but it is just as important as the other steps
    • Can you tangibly look back and see positive results from this experiment?
      • If yes, then it might be worth developing an ongoing relationship with this person or persons.
      • If you didn’t get tangible results, take it in stride and learn from the experience.

Influencers can be a valuable tool to your social media strategy, and when utilized properly can provide a huge value to your business. Summer is a great time to dip a toe into the influencer ecosystem, with so many people traveling it is a great opportunity to gain new followers and customers that you might never have the opportunity to reach otherwise.

What to do when Instagram hides your likes…

I’m sure you’ve read the dozens of articles the past few weeks about Instagram testing out hiding the number of likes on posts. Now this is only a test and there’s no reason to think that Instagram is going to roll this update out world-wide, but it doesn’t hurt to go ahead and start planning just in case they do.

So the question is, if others can’t see how many likes are on a post, how will this affect Instagram’s algorithm, my discoverability, and the ability to get in front of my followers?

First things first, likes do not equal dollars. Just because a post gets a lot of likes doesn’t mean that it translates to actual business.

At this point obviously there’s no real way to tell if this will have an effect on fan interaction and discoverability, but in my opinion it does show that Facebook and Instagram are pushing more and more towards conversation and what they call “real connections”. So in my opinion that’s the biggest thing your Instagram strategy should focus on. Here’s a few ideas to keep in mind if this update comes to the rest of the world.

Encourage Conversations

As of this moment, Instagram seems to prefer posts that have lots of comments, specifically conversations. If Instagram does go the route of removing likes it seems like even more emphasis will be put on comments and conversations. Your content should try to encourage people to tag a friend or share their experience.

Instagram post with lots of comments performs well
Stories. Stories. Stories.

When Instagram introduced a stories function many thought that would be the end of snapchat. Stories have become a valuable tool for brands to continue to get in front of their followers even when their main posts might not be easily seen.

Example of popular stories
The stories that are pushed to the left are a combo of updated recently and ones that you interact with the most

I’m sure you’ve noticed that the stories that tend to show up on the top left of your screen are the brands / people you tend to watch the most. This absolutely falls in line with Facebook always saying that they want to show the content they think people want to see first (not necessarily chronologically). So with that being the case your brand should have a solid stories strategy to get as many views as possible and be able to stay in front of your fans even if your main posts don’t.

Increase the Number of Posts

This is an easy strategy. Most brands don’t post enough as is, due to the sheer number of brands people typically follow your post might just get lost in the shuffle. By increasing the number of posts in a day, you’re increasing the likelihood that your posts will be seen by fans.

3 Tips to Improve Your Instagram Page

Social media is hard. For every business you follow that has 50,000+ followers there are businesses that are struggling to get their content in front of their followers. Here’s 3 tips you can use to fix your Instagram.

If you look at how much time people spend on Instagram it makes sense why it’s one of the most popular social media tools. It’s a beautifully constructed platform designed to keep your attention as long as possible. If your business has struggled to reach your followers lately it might be time to retool your IG strategy.

  1. Generate More Content
  2. Encourage a Conversation
    • Right now Facebook as a company wants to encourage authentic connections with people. They view this as conversations.
    • Comments are one of the biggest boosters of your content in a Facebook or Instagram feed.
  3. Location for Local Exposure
    • Instagram’s explore page is one of it’s best features to keep the user’s attention.
    • Adding your business’s location to your posts helps local users near you find you from the explore page.
    • Adding your location to your stories also groups you on the “Local Story” in your and can let other users who don’t follow you find you.

Three Questions to Improve ANY Marketing Campaign

Whether you watched the Super Bowl for the football, halftime show or just the commercials a huge amount of people had their attention turned to the last game of the NFL season. As with every year the commercials are a big talking point, and some brands did better than others.

We’ll give you three questions you can ask during the planning phase of your marketing activities to give you the best results.

Millions of Dollars wasted because they didn’t understand their goals and audience.

In 2018 there were over 80 commercials during the Super Bowl, not every one is a homerun, but every single one is expensiveThe average cost of a 30 second ad in 2019 was around $5 million. That’s more than a majority of small businesses will make this year all spent on a single ad. Now for most of these brands it’s a drop in the bucket and not a huge deal. The problem comes when you spend all that money on the spot, and even more on the creative and actually shooting and editing the commercial only for it to go over like a lead balloon.

In years past there’s usually a 5-8 commercials that really stand out as funny or emotional that really connect with viewers and more importantly potential customers. This year a lot of brand mailed it in with their big game commercials. There was trend of a lot of brands leaning on nostalgia. Even worse than having uninspired ideas are ideas that don’t accomplish anything or don’t resonate with your target customer.

Let’s look at one of Bud Light’s commercials for example. Bud Light for the past year has gone all in on it’s medieval themed commercials ever since the success of “Dilly Dilly”. This year they tried to keep the momentum going with another medieval commercial this time with Corn Syrup as a main focus. Here’s a link if you haven’t seen it yet.

I can’t speak for the minds behind the commercial I’m sure they meant well, but it was poorly executed. Knowing your audience is key and Bud Light and their creative team doesn’t seem to understand that their customers drinking Bud Light probably aren’t as health focused as other consumers and this not worried about corn syrup being included in their beer. While the commercial generated a laugh it failed to actually resonate with customers. And worse it probably cost them a few as seen with many corn farmers pouring out their supplies of Bud Light.

A failure to understand your customer and a failure to establish a concise goal for their commercial has now lead to controversy and will surely end up costing them extra money in PR damage control. And I doubt they’ve actually convinced anyone that was on the fence about Bud Light to buy their beer because it happens to not have corn syrup.

At the end of the day there are 3 questions you can ask to make sure any marketing activity is going to be effective.

  1. Does this help us accomplish a relevant goal?
  2. Will this resonate with our intended audience?
  3. Does it help us make money?

The One Thing EVERY Business Needs in Their Advertising…

Your company is leaving business on the table. With a smart retargeting strategy and execution you can help recover lost sales and increase your social media followers.

Don’t like reading? Click here to watch our video on retargeting for the hotel industry.

No matter what industry you’re in there are customers who leave your site without making a purchase, booking a room, or putting in their information. Every business would love to capture more leads or get more potential customers in their funnel. An easy way to do this is to implement a retargeting advertising campaign.

What is retargeting?

Retargeting is just a phrase for those ads you see after visiting a website or social media page without buying anything.

Why should we implement retargeting?

Studies show that it usually takes someone seeing something SEVEN times before they can actually recall it. If you’re running an ad or someone finds your site via google and you can’t convert them right then you probably won’t. UNLESS you can keep hitting these potential customers with ads and offers to keep their attention.

Is it Hard? How do we do it?

Back in 2010 retargeting was a lot more difficult than it is today. Thankfully like most things Facebook has made it pretty simple to implement a retargeting strategy. As long as you’re familiar with Facebook’s ad platform (not just boosting posts) you can set up retargeting ads in a matter of a few minutes.

Having a good strategy behind your ads is the hard part. Many companies just throw up pictures and a discount to try and lure people back. That can work but more often than not, it wasn’t simply price that kept someone from taking action. Your business needs to think through objections and try to find patterns of people leaving your website in your analytics to come up with a winning strategy to help you get these customers back.

You’re Not Posting Enough. Fix Your Social Media Content.

“I don’t want to overwhelm people.” One of the most common quotes I hear when I sit down with businesses owners.

The fact of the matter is that almost every business is fighting a battle with one arm behind it’s back. For the most people people are spending more time on their phone than ever, but thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and Google they’re also seeing less of your content than ever before. 

I relate social media and blog posts to swinging at pitches in baseball. You can’t hit the ball if you’re not swinging. You’re also not going to have a great batting average if you’re only swinging once a game. 

Let’s look at it from a simple math perspective. Most companies post between 5-7 times a week on social media. Let’s take 6 x 52 weeks per year. 

That’s 312 social media posts per year.

312 times you’re hopefully getting in front of your fans (I say hopefully because let’s be honest the algorithms will come into effect.)

If you just added 4 more posts per week…..

That’s 520 social media posts per year.

208 MORE opportunities to be in front of potential customers.

Now to keep the baseball analogy going, you can’t swing at bad pitches and think you’ll make the hall of fame. That means you can’t put out terrible or uninteresting content. Because the answer isn’t just post more often and get more customers. The answer is to figure out what your customers want to see and create posts and blogs about that. Come up with a plan and strategy ahead of time and create images and videos that can be used for multiple posts. 

If you feel like your social media has gone stale. Get in touch with us, we’d be happy to offer so help. 

Don’t Plan to Fail

IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU ARE PLANNING TO FAIL. 

– BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.

That is a classic quote. It’s one that is central to our business. Before every week and before we create every campaign we set out a plan to help us succeed. 

A good marketing plan can take your social marketing from a chore to a walk in the park.  So many small and medium sized businesses don’t have a plan when it comes to social media, blogging or website. Instead of fighting a daily battle and struggling to execute, plan ahead and make it easier on yourself. 

If you don’t already, set yearly goals. Your goals can be as simple as we want 10,000 Instagram followers by the end of the year or they could be as abstract as, we want to raise awareness. Whatever you do, just set a goal and go with it. Then set quarterly or monthly goals that are in line with your yearly goals. Where most companies fail (even large ones) is that they don’t have a plan in place and goals set. After you have these things in place break it down weekly. Look at each social media platform and figure out what time you’ll be posting, and what content you’ll be posting. 

A favorite tools of ours is Google Calendar. It’s nothing special, but when used correctly, can be highly effective. It’s easy to use, and syncs across all of your devices. On Friday afternoon take the time to plan ahead your entire posting schedule for the next week. Your planning sessions can be as short or as long as you need them to be. The more details the better, but if you can go ahead and create events to remind you to post on each social media platform with details it can go a long way to make your week easier. If you don’t have photos, video, or other content needed for the next week’s posts you can also plan time to create the content that next week. 

Another helpful tip is that you can create different colors for different social media platforms or different actions. Your Facebook Reminders can be blue, while your email marketing campaigns can be great. Whatever works for you and your company. 

The most important thing to remember when creating your plan is trying to relate each action back to your monthly and yearly goals. How are you getting closer to accomplishing the goals set out to help your business grow? Will this blog post help us reach our 10,000 Instagram Follower goal? Will our new weekly email marketing campaign bring in more sales? These are things that you need to try and address during your planning sessions. 

Short term and long term planning is something that can take your marketing to the next level in efficiency and effectiveness. If you don’t know where to start, or still have questions feel free to shoot us an email or call us. We are more than happy to help you out. 

Your Business Needs a Blog

The truth is almost every business in 2018 should have a blog. There’s so much upside to having one and very little downside.

WHY SHOULD WE HAVE A BLOG?

Honestly if your business can’t devote the time and energy to blogging on a regular schedule, it might not be worth it. But, that shouldn’t be an excuse, in as little as 1-2 hours a week you can post content to your blog that will bring huge value to your business.

Blogging regularly adds content to your website that Google and other search engines use to help rank your website. The more you blog about topics related to your business the more search engines see that and help you climb the rankings. Now blogging alone isn’t a sound SEO strategy, but, it’s cost effective and time effective.

WHAT WOULD WE EVEN PUT ON OUR BLOG?

The truth is, you can put anything your heart desires on your blog. But, if you want it to be worthwhile you should typically keep your posts related to your business and bringing value to your customers. That means think of questions and topics your customers would likely ask you about and write about those. Specific examples would be: A wine store writing about different types of wine and food pairings, or a clothing store giving fashion advice, or an elevator manufacturer talking about different types of elevators and recommended maintenance. There are an endless amount of topics any one business could post about, and it’s really about sharing the knowledge and expertise your staff has accumulated over the years to potential customers.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE POST?

This is different for every company, but the one thing you should do is be consistent. Make it a part of your routine. Posting once a month might not be enough, but posting daily can become a chore. We often recommend once a week to start out. If you find that you can post twice a week go for it, but once a week gives you roughly 50+ posts a year to help build content on your site. That’s 50+ opportunities to attract new customers, engage current customers, and build your business. If you miss a week, don’t worry about posting two the next week. Just get back into a rhythm of posting consistently.

HOW LONG SHOULD EACH BLOG POST BE?

Once again there’s no clear cut answer here. The main thing is that you publish posts that clearly convey the information you’re trying to share. Sometimes that might be 500 words other times it might be 5,000 words. Gary Vaynerchuk said at Sloss Tech last year “If your content is good, it doesn’t matter how long it is, people will pay attention.”

WE WROTE A POST ON OUR BLOG, NOW WHAT?

No one will read your blog if you don’t promote it. Share links to your blog on all of your social media pages, especially LinkedIn if your sales come from B2B. That’s an added benefit of writing a blog,  now you have one day a week that you don’t have to worry about content. You can share your blog across all of your social media pages.

WHERE DO WE START?

The first thing you should do is meet with your team or who will be writing the posts. Sit down and decide when you would like to post, how often, and a handful of topics you’d like to cover. Come up with some rough outlines for each subject and start writing.

LinkedIn Social Media Strategy

What platforms are you currently using for social media?”

“Right now we use Facebook and Instagram mostly. With some Twitter.”

“What about LinkedIn?”

A lot of businesses forget about social media channels outside of the big three. Some companies include Pinterest, and a lot have moved away from Snapchat with the addition of stories to Instagram, but a ton of companies neglect LinkedIn. 

And for some it’s easy to forget about LinkedIn, it’s not as popular as Facebook, it’s not as active as Twitter, and not hip and sexy like Instagram and Snapchat. But, the one thing that LinkedIn does have going for it, is a large active user base of business minded professionals. 

It’s astounding to me the number of B2B companies focusing their marketing efforts on traditionally B2C platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and rarely, if ever post on LinkedIn.

And while Snap Inc’s IPO got lots of media attention this year, most people forget last year LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft for around $26 Billion.  That’s right, LinkedIn the red-headed stepchild of social media is worth almost as much as Snapchat.

LinkedIn has 467 Million users and 25% of those are using it daily. The advantage that LinkedIn has over traditional social media is that it’s the “business” social media. It’s where you go to connect, network and learn more about companies, what they are about, and their employees. So this makes it a great place to put B2B focused content.

Now, LinkedIn, like any other social media site takes time, strategy, and effort to make it an effective tool. But your company’s strategy can largely be the same as any other site. The biggest focus you should have when posting to LinkedIn is providing value to your potential customers. What does providing value mean? Well, it means something different for every company. For example, Process Marketing shares information on what companies should look for when redesigning a website, or how to create a YouTube series that can drive traffic for your business.

Another example might be a restaurant, bar, hotel or brewery showcasing their ability to become and event space. B2B and networking events can be an additional revenue source for the hospitality industry during slow days / seasons. Anything your company can create that can make your company the authority on your services is going to be incredibly effective.

Active LinkedIn users love to share informative content to their connections. We tend to tell our customers that any informative blog post or great infographic is a quick and effective piece of content to start out sharing.

This is probably a no-brainer, but you should also encourage your employees to share company updates on LinkedIn. Their connections might find the content useful and become potential clients.

LinkedIn should be a part of of almost every company’s digital strategy in one way or another. If you’re not sure where to start or want some direction get in touch with us, we would absolutely love to help you get started.

As always if you enjoyed this article or found it helpful in any way, feel free to like, leave a comment, or share it across the internet. Thanks for reading.